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What do u think of Bush proposing major immigration reform?

 
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2004 09:24 pm
nimh

Sorry, have been busy, but wanted to tell you that your comments earlier on Chomsky represent the first intelligent comments I've bumped into.

Complaints that he gets the facts wrong don't hold up. In his political analyses, as in his field of study, it is his intellectual integrity upon which his credibility sits, and he's easily smart enough to know that.

But he is, perhaps by constitution, something of a complainer. I happen to believe he complains about exactly the right things, and also believe that without his analytic capabilities, our understanding of many things (eg the handmaiden to power function of modern media) would be greatly impoverished. Yet, one can easily imagine him protesting pretty much any social arrangement he might have been born into.

Of course, I like such contrarians far more than I do those folks who go in for a regular shearing.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2004 10:39 pm
Blatham,

I've seen others describe him as a dissident as a way of life.

Kinda a career dissident. I too like the topics he complains about but like nimh I think, from what I've seen of him, that he can and will complain about anything.
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hobitbob
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2004 10:40 pm
I wonder if in some ways he mightn't serve the purpose of national conscience?
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2004 10:51 pm
craven

Yes, I think it is a good point.

hobit

The 'contrarian' does function as a balance to a group's uninspected assumptions and tendencies to majoritarian oppressiveness, and I think the function is absolutely necessaary.

Folks sometimes protest Chomsky's 'moralizing', but one can easily see that element as a contrarian reflection of American self-image. I'm quite sure the majority of Americans hold that their nation is the most moral nation on earth. A contrary sort (with smarts and integrity) is going to point out all the ways in which that is delusional, or at least, not nearly the full story.

So, he might be annoying, but quite right too. Like conscience.
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Monger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2004 03:53 am
Craven de Kere wrote:
Just to visit the US many have to provide US officials with information on their job and salary and are often rejected for no reason other than mere suspicion of immigration.

I know countless well to do foreigners who merely wanted to visit Disney Wold but were rejected entry into the US because they come from a poor country.

The situation is absurd. Americans lose sight of humanity through selfish xenophobia.

While I was living in Ethiopia, I knew a number of well-to-do college students who were invited by their friends in the States to visit over the holidays, but who were denied tourist visa's unless each person could provide, among other requirements, ownership papers for a house purchased in their name. These were people who had no intention of immigration, but needless to say they didn't end up going...I mean, how many college students own houses?

So yeah, I agree the US's efforts to establish motive for those from developing countries to return home is often completly overkill.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2004 12:27 pm
Many laws concerning immigration are stupid and without any logic. Why have laws on the books about illegal immigration if we are eventually going to make them legal anyway? How are laws about immigration different from laws about national security? Live in this country illegally for a few years, and we'll offer you legal status. What's the logic in that?
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2004 04:14 pm
blatham wrote:
nimh

Sorry, have been busy, but wanted to tell you that your comments earlier on Chomsky represent the first intelligent comments I've bumped into.

Complaints that he gets the facts wrong don't hold up. In his political analyses, as in his field of study, it is his intellectual integrity upon which his credibility sits, and he's easily smart enough to know that.

But he is, perhaps by constitution, something of a complainer. I happen to believe he complains about exactly the right things, and also believe that without his analytic capabilities, our understanding of many things (eg the handmaiden to power function of modern media) would be greatly impoverished. Yet, one can easily imagine him protesting pretty much any social arrangement he might have been born into.


Well, thank you for the compliment, but is that what I said about Chomsky? I dont recognize the point I made in how you and Craven summarised it, at all.

I don't mind complaining, and I dont think I ever even said anything about that. I mind when the complaints only ever concern, bottom line, a general, ideological point, and the facts of whichever topic is at hand are then redefined or reinterpreted to fit the crusade in question.

I think Chomsky - from the little of what I read from him - has made some very good criticisms about the US and American/Western/capitalist culture. But when he writes about other countries, other nations, I get this feeling that he isnt really much interested in that place, at all - what he's interested in, is exploring it (harvesting it, so to say) for facts and examples he can use in his own argument, about the general state of the world and the (devious) character of the West (etc) in general.

One doesn't necessarily need to lie and twist the facts for that (though I dont share your opinion that complaints that he gets the facts wrong never hold up) - all's one gotta do is select the few points that fit the context of your theory, of the fight you're fighting, back home, and ignore the rest.

You see people do it here all the time. People are not really interested much in the history, current affairs or culture of Afghanistan, Iran or Uganda - they'll only jump on news from there if there's anything that can be used as pro-Bush or anti-Bush fodder. And then they'll redefine or reinterpret whatever the piece of news was to reflect the terms of the pro-Bush vs anti-Bush polarity, to hell with local contexts. Hypothetical example: Iranian students step up their protests, there's some violence, Khatami promises a further reform, Bush pleads for regime change in a speech? Then poster A. will observe that it's thanks to Bush that democratisation in Iran is now really starting to roll, while poster B. will argue that Bush is trying to create excuses for more reckless interventions. Neither really knows much, nor is much interested, in the history, dynamics or affinities of the student protesters or governments reformists unless it fits the context of the political argument they're fighting back home. Thats what Chomsky reminds me of.

nimh wrote:
I usually only save stuff i like, so i dont have anything at hand to quote.

But it was for example during the yugoslav war that I got really annoyed by his stuff.

His primary interest - like that of many peers - seems to forever lie with the enemies he's fighting at home ... and whichever country's problems he turns his attention on, he will redefine them to fit the patterns he's identified (and fought) back home. Thats the impression i got away with there.

Very marxist, really - not his thinking per se, but that he does that. But myself, i cant stand - and i'm only very loosely referring to chomsky in particular, here - people who, when they look at kosovars or nigerians or uzbeks and the fates they face or fight, still only see their own political struggle, and simply project its categories and identifiers onto the scene. It's because they don't really care about the locals - those are just more symbols for their big scheme of things - thats why local contexts are best explained away. They only really care about their own fight & grail.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2004 02:22 pm
Bush, the leftist?

Being from a country where illegal immigrants - hell, even asylum-seekers - are routinely talked of, by mainstream politicians too, as anonymised, malevolent profiteers, I am still so amazed to see George Bush saying stuff that I would love to hear politicians here say ...

Finally, a politician who talks of undocumented workers not in terms of, can we make it possible to just jail them, but in terms of dwelling "in the shadows of American life -- fearful, often abused and exploited".

Hear, hear.

Furthermore, a(n otherwise negative) TNR article points out that, should these new proposals actually be both implemented and enforced, it would imply practically a Europeanisation of the labour market:

"We Americans pride ourselves on our flexible, relatively unregulated labor markets. Yet Bush's plan flies in the face of this tradition. It requires a determination that employers make "every reasonable effort to find an American to fill a job before extending job offers to foreign workers," and it contains numerous other rules and regulations that will have to be observed--and enforced. In a striking irony that has escaped the notice of both liberals and conservatives, an administration supposedly dominated by market enthusiasts is now proposing the creation of a highly regulated labor market." (source)
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2004 02:38 pm
nimh wrote:
Bush, the leftist?
"We Americans pride ourselves on our flexible, relatively unregulated labor markets. Yet Bush's plan flies in the face of this tradition. It requires a determination that employers make "every reasonable effort to find an American to fill a job before extending job offers to foreign workers," and it contains numerous other rules and regulations that will have to be observed--and enforced. (source)

And of course, as in any free market, it's easy not to find an American for a job. Just offer a wage below the market-clearing level. As conservatives correctly point out, the liberal concept of "not enough jobs to go around" is meaningless because the number of jobs is a function of the wage paid for them. It's amusing to see a conservative president commit this traditional leftist fallacy.
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husker
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2004 02:59 pm
The neighbor guy from Guadalajara married a gal from here, a US Citizen, also most of the other people I know from the Baja who have been to the US to work have been deported from the US for being Illegal - and the other one I know that lives in Flordia travels back and forth from the baja 2x a year. He does very well in his work there, but his wife and kids remain in flordia while he visits his extended family.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 05:33 pm
Quote:
THE MEEK FINALLY INHERIT SOMETHING: Whatever else you think of the George W. Bush immigration plan, just focus on this: It will make life better for millions of the disadvantaged. How often does any government action achieve this? And shouldn't a better life for the needy be among the first goals of government policy? Surely it should be among the first goals of liberal government policy. That a conservative president has done something to help millions of people with money problems, little power and an anxiety-filled life--the meek, in New Testament terms--seems such a departure from the script that the anti-poverty aspects of the Bush initiative are simply being ignored.

Yes, there are political considerations in Bush's immigration initiative, but reaction has pretended there are only political considerations. Set aside whether Bush's decision will help Democrats or Republicans, and consider how it will help the poor. Millions of hardworking illegals who live in constant anxiety in the United States--the comfortable U.S. majority cannot imagine the endless personal apprehension and feeling of powerlessness that comes from illegal status--will be able to stop living in fear.

<snip>

Plus there is the combination of Bush's immigration plan with his proposal to ensure that illegal workers get full credit for their Social Security taxes, and can take the benefits back home with them when they retire. Millions of illegal workers have been paying in to Social Security with no chance of getting anything in return, which in effect transfers money from one of society's worst-off groups to one of its best-off groups, middle-class American retirees. A working life of arduous low-paid toil, followed by impoverished retirement, has been the lot of millions of illegals in the United States. Now that can change. And many will have the option of returning home on retirement, in most cases to Mexico, where the buying power of the Social Security dollar is ten times what it is in the United States.

Had a Democratic president proposed exactly what George W. Bush has proposed for the treatment of illegal immigrant workers, editorialists might have called it bleeding-heart liberalism. Fine! Hearts should bleed for the needy. That commentators have focused instead on political vote-totals analysis, and petty sniping at the Bush plan just tells us how removed contemporary media is from the struggles of the average person, and how little today's upper-middle-class journalist or upper-class political pundit cares about the daily struggles of the people who trim his or her lawn.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 05:39 pm
That link is here: http://www.tnr.com/easterbrook.mhtml

Mind you, the bit I snipped out is less good ...

There's one glaring flaw in his article overall, namely that he treats the issue as if the administration will indeed, after the new legalisation drive, suddenly start enforcing and clamping down on employers who hire illegals - and that the current illegals will thus not replaced or followed-up by new ones. He even goes as far as suggesting that "the president's initiative will have a secondary effect of causing the federal minimum wage to rise, or bringing this about de facto if employers bid-up minimum wages voluntarily." I'd doubt any of that's gonna happen.

But the points above are well made in the fog of partisan speculation on motives. What illegal Mexican soon to get a proper status and wage will care about motives?

The article's got one more - totally unrelated - Good Thing; or Flabbergasting Thing, in any case. I'm gonna take that quote somewhere else, too. Consider this - Shocked :

Quote:
the federal minimum wage is worth nearly a third less in real-dollar terms that it was in the 1960s. (In 1963, the federal minimum wage was $7.25 an hour in current dollars; the 2004 federal minimum wage is $5.15.)

It remains a national scandal that a person can work 40 hours a week at the current federal minimum wage and be impoverished by the poverty-line definition. (The 2003 Census Bureau poverty line for a childless couple was $12,120; 40 hours for 50 weeks at the current federal minimum wage brings home $10,300, minus taxes.)
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 05:50 pm
I have not seen any proposed legislation regarding this idea of Bush's, possibly just talk as in "Hey, I have an idea that might float." should there be an actually bill offered in Congress, It will no doubt have significant alterations before it gets passed on to the President for signing. Right now I see this as just vote getting, popularizing rhetoric with the added benefit of accomodating V. Fox (our Mexican friend) In the long run (reality) I am guessing that the repub congress as well as the mexican polulace will reject pretty much out of hand this non-proposal.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 06:30 pm
Congress perhaps, but why would "the mexican populace" reject this "pretty much out of hand"?

Sceptical about whether it'll materialse, perhaps ... but reject it? Why?
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 06:49 pm
The opinion of the Mexican populace, as of yesterday, dys:

Are you for or against Bush's proposal:
For: 63%
Against: 32%

Do you think it will benefit Mexicans living illegally in the US?
Yes: 58%
No: 34%

Do you think it is a big step, a small step or a negliglible step in getting an agreement on migration:

Big step: 20%
Small step: 47%
Negligible: 27%


Do you think Mexico and the US will reach an agreement on migration in the next three years?:

Yes: 46 %
No: 49%

What do you think is Bush's main objective with his migration proposal?

To increase the Hispanic vote for the next election: 81%
To benefit the Mexican immigrants in the US:
15%
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2004 05:12 am
Interesting figures, Fbaezer.

Still - we can do good by accident, or while trying to do something expedient...? If it happens...
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bradleychapman
 
  0  
Reply Tue 20 Sep, 2011 12:56 am
@nimh,
Then it will going to be a good news for the illegal immigrants and their number will increase if that agenda has been established. Then the legal immigrants will think that it's unfair. They will like: "We should've move to the country illegally instead of obeying the immigration laws."
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